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Issue 212 - Do What's Right, Because it's the Right Thing to Do

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 5 Issue 212
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



As a college coach, being a successful recruiter is critical if you are going to keep your job.
In 1983, I was an assistant coach at UCLA to Larry Farmer. I was excited as I sat in Coach Wooden’s old office with Coach Wooden and he began to visit with a recruiting prospect on our behalf.
I was surprised when Coach started out this visit with: Greg, UCLA may not be the right school for you.
I shouldn’t have been.
In his book A Game Plan for Life, with Don Yaeger, Coach described his recruiting approach:
I was never a coach who favored aggressive recruiting—I would talk with the player honestly and frankly about what might be in store for him if he decided on my school. I never tried to talk a student into coming to UCLA.
I tried to show him what was there and what to expect, and I never told him he was going to play. I told him he would have the opportunity to play, and if he was good enough, then he’d be able to. Rosy forecasts during the “courtship” of a player can only lead to disappointment and distrust if anything fails to meet that student’s expectations.
Instead, I would tell each student that if he did choose to attend UCLA—and I hoped he would—that he would be very unhappy his first year.
“You’re going to be away from home and your parents and all the things you’ve known for a number of years,” I’d explain. “It’s going to be very different academically and you’re going to wish you had gone someplace else. But let me tell you this: If you had gone someplace else, it would be the same thing and you’d wonder what would have happened if you’d gone to UCLA. So there you go. Think it over.”
For Coach Wooden, coming up with an approach to recruiting was easy. Tell the truth: it's the right thing to do.
All of us are faced with difficult decisions from time to time. What to decide becomes easier if we: Do what's right because it's the right thing to do.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Our American Heritage


We need to re-establish our American philosophy of self-reliant, self-responsible individuals, who not only want freedom but who have the courage to accept the responsibility of freedom.
Let’s tell our children about their American heritage. Their right to become uncommon people! Let’s mow down the myth of the common person as a worthy objective. Common is merely a polite word for mediocre. America was not made great by common people! It was made great by uncommon people. Let’s keep on producing uncommon people.
Let’s tell our children that neither security nor profit are dirty words. Let’s admit that every reasonable person wants some security. Americans must earn security, not get it by forfeiting their freedom.
Let’s tell our children that there are a million theories of Utopia. Every person has their own dream, but only in America can a person make their dream come true—if they are determined enough. America’s greatest resource isn’t gold or iron, natural resources or material wealth. America’s greatest resource is the magic of free people living in a free system.
Finally, let’s tell our children that their greatest inheritance is their God-given inalienable rights, including the priceless right to improve themselves by their own efforts.
These rights were not given them by labor, by management, by their government, or by their state. They were given to them by God, and free people do not renegotiate their inalienable rights.
We have not yet developed a perfect system, but it is also true that we have come closer than anyone else on earth.


J. Lewis Powell 






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